Monday, April 9, 2012

REVIEW: Baby Grand - Arts & Leisure

You know what really fills out the day as winter slides into spring? For one thing, great indie pop with jangly and chiming guitars and top quality female vocals. But who would provide that, you ask? Today's answer is Sacramento's Baby Grand. You may not be familiar with the band, but after listening to the music, you will want more. They have been around, with various line-ups, for years, and their recently released LP, Arts & Leisure, out now on Test Pattern Records, is their fourth album since 2002.

For me, the discernible influences for Baby Grand are Camera Obscura (especially the tone and phrasing of the vocals) and Belle & Sebastian (with respect to the careful orchestration of the songs). Take the album's second song, "My Song 15", for a little test drive. The official video delightfully contrasts the sweet sound with a car chase from and old movie.

The primary vocalist is Gerri White, who also plays acoustic guitar. The remainder of Baby Grand is Tim White (drums), Cory Vick (guitar), Leon Levy (bass), Christina Maradik (viola, percussion, vocals), and Jeannette Faith (Rhodes piano).

My current favorite song on the album is "Fool for Your Love", a live version of which is below --

Baby Grand is an assured band with a broad palette, encompassing folk, 60s girl-groups, and orchestral pop. If you're like me, you'll find a lot of delights in Arts & Leisure.

I'll close with a live version of album track "I'll Say Goodbye" --

Test Pattern Records

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